NBA, NBA Draft

The 20 lowest-drafted NBA players to be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame

Every summer, hundreds of college players, international prospects and former NBA players compete to be signed by an NBA team for the upcoming season. Only a few per Summer League team ever make it on the roster, some never play more than a few games.

High draft picks end up with at least a couple years of being a rotation player, some of these lottery players end up playing in the NBA for many years while some wash out after two or three seasons. The great players make an all-star team. The superstars make several all-star games, and the legends end up in the Hall of Fame.

If you were to wager on which rookie players have the highest chances of making the Hall of Fame, you would use the unibet bonus code here and bet on those players selected in the top 10-12 selections.

Lowest Draftees to Make Hall of Fame

From 1970-2000, thirteen number one overall picks of the NBA Draft went on to make the Hall of Fame. By the numbers, if your franchise has the #1 selection, you have approximately a 42% chance that you’re getting a Hall of Fame player.

If being chosen high up in the NBA draft increases the chances you’ll be an NBA Hall of Famer, then a player getting drafted after the Lottery selections means they have their work cut ouf for them if they want to be an NBA legend. So we scoured the internet (which always seems to include reddit) and came up with a list of the lowest-drafted players that made the Hall Of Fame based on their NBA accomplishments.

Hall of Famers Drafted Late
Pick Draft Player Team HOF
N/A 1996 Ben Wallace 2021
#122 1970 Dan Issel* Detroit Pistons 1993
#117 1971 Artis Gilmore* Chicago Bulls 2011
#57 1999 Manu Ginobili San Antonio Spurs 2022
#40 1974 George Gervin* Phoenix Suns 1996
#38 1967 Louie Dampier* Cincinnati Royals 2015
#36 1978 Maurice Cheeks Philadelphia 76ers 2018
#30 1971 Spencer Haywood Buffalo Braves 2015
#29 1976 Dennis Johnson Seattle Supersonics 2010
#27 1986 Dennis Rodman Detroit Pistons 2011
#23 1976 Alex English Denver Nuggets 1997
#22 1973 George McGinnis Philadelphia 76ers 2017

The list isn’t super eye-opening, but it does include some big name scorers and contributors and probably the best rebounder in NBA history.

If a player has an asterisk (*) by their name, a little bit of context is needed. From 1967 until the mid-70’s the NBA was competing with the fledgling ABA for players. Though a smaller league, the ABA would offer big name players more money than the NBA could offer in order to sign big-name players. So during these several seasons, NBA teams knew going into the NBA draft that certain top college players would not sign with the NBA, so these franchises would strategically use a 4th or 5th or th round pick to secure any possible future rights to that player.

This list doesn’t include players that were drafted late in other leagues such as Moses Malone who was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1974 ABA Draft. This list also doesn’t include several international NBA players that were inducted into the Hall of Fame mainly because of their international impact. This includes Drazen Petrovic (60) Nikos Galis (68), Arvydas Sabonis (24), Sarunas Marciulionis (127), and Oscar Schmidt (131).

Future Late-Selection Hall of Famers

A couple San Antonio Spurs will add to this list when they become eligible. Manu Ginobili (57th overall) and Tony Parker (28th) are definite Hall of Famers that were chosen later in their draft classes. These two are locks to make the earlier list

Future Late-Selection Hall of Famers
Pick Draft Player Team
#58 1999 Manu Ginobili San Antonio Spurs
#48 2007 Marc Gasol Los Angeles Lakers
#41 2014 Nikola Jokic Denver Nuggets
#35 2012 Draymond Green Golden State Warriors
#30 2011 Jimmy Butler Chicago Bulls
#28 2001 Tony Parker San Antonio Spurs
#27 2013 Rudy Gobert Denver Nuggets
#24 2006 Kyle Lowry Memphis Grizzlies

An unspectacular player, Kyle Lowry has a decent chance (85%) chance of making the Hall of Fame once he retires according to basketball-reference.

Right below Lowry is Draymond Green (35th) – the heart of the Golden State Warrior’s dynasty teams has just a 36% chance according to basketball-reference, but we think his intangibles make him a lock.

If Jimmy Butler (30th overall) can avoid injuries and maintain his level of play, he’ll have a chance at being enshrined one day. Same goes with 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic (41st overall).

Former Memphis Grizzly Marc Gasol (48th overall) has a 4.3% chance of being inducted when his career is over according to basketball-reference.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.